Advocata – Lanka Online Business

  • Sri Lanka is already going through one of the worst economic crises in its history.
  • Reforms are so difficult that no party will even want to consider them let alone implement them for fear of losing popularity.
  • The longer the reforms are postponed, the worse the problem becomes, making remedies even more difficult to implement.
  • The only way out is for all parties, government and opposition to work together on a common minimum reform program.
  • During World War II, faced with a national disaster, Britain formed a multi-party coalition.
  • In the face of a similar catastrophe, the parties should put aside their differences and work together to resolve the current crisis.

“We are no longer talking about a crisis that is about to engulf us. We are now in the midst of it, but not in its depths. Hope that the 2022 budget would give the right signals has evaporated, ”said Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, leading policy analyst and advocata Institute adviser, said. He made the comments during Advocata’s latest event, “A National Consensus for Economic Reforms or ‘ආර්ථිකයට ජාතික සම්මුතියක්? “. Professor Samarajiva provided a breakdown of the serious economic and social challenges facing the country. His opening speech underscored the importance of building a national consensus to implement immediate reforms to tackle a wide range of issues ranging from unsustainable debt to shortages of essential items in the country.

The current macroeconomic instability lies in the failure of the state to implement deep structural reforms of the economy for nearly twenty years. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed Sri Lanka’s fundamental weaknesses that have plagued the economy for a long time. The event brought together politicians representing major political parties to discuss the importance of united action, in driving Sri Lanka’s economy on a growth path.

Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, explained the seriousness of the crisis. “We cannot get out of the crisis without taking bitter drugs. It is increasingly clear that debt restructuring within the framework of an IMF (International Monetary Fund) program is essential. Unlike previous IMF programs, we cannot afford to give up discipline at the first opportunity. Unless we have the reforms, we will continue to back down ”. He said, stressing that what we need is a common minimum reform program accepted by many. “We need eye-catching action that will credibly communicate the intentions of the national government. The sale of Sri Lankan Airlines on the same lines as Air India is a good candidate. The objective is to protect the taxpayers of this country from having to continually cover the losses of this state-owned company in technical bankruptcy ”. He said, stressing the importance of immediate measures to improve public finances. The Sri Lankan national carrier makes a daily loss of LKR 129.03 million rupees. Over the past four years of operation, it has cost the economy $ 137 billion in accumulated losses.

JJB MP Vijitha Herath reflected on the need for a national consensus. He noted that “Sri Lankan economy is in the intensive care unit (intensive care unit). We are currently using minor reforms to postpone certain death. But we need surgery to help the patient, ”emphasizing the need for deep structural reforms. He added that there is space for all parties to come together and agree on such an agenda for the benefit of the nation. Hon. Prof. Ranjith Bandara, MP, SLPP commented: “We need to prioritize the issues that we need to solve. We have to be politically coherent in the long term ”. Highlight another key aspect of political reform to achieve long-term stabilization.

Trade reform is another area to boost productivity and achieve growth. Dr Harsha De Silva developed this aspect. “The import substitution mentality should be abandoned. We have to face and be competitive in a competitive international economy. We have been excluded from the global value chain due to our narrow spirit of import substitution and complete self-sufficiency ”. Hon. Patali Champika Ranawakaa-MP, SJB, commented on the importance of energy sector reforms to deal with the current crisis. “The question of power is the next crisis. We have to sell to India. If the rain dries up for 6 weeks, we are certainly heading for a big electricity crisis. Substitutes for the production of electricity (kerosene) are also rare. This crisis could lead to a fracture of society ”underlining the urgency of reforming the energy sector. Hon. Dr Suren Ragavan-MP, SLPP, was of the opinion that “We need a national consensus that capitalizes on the unique skills and abilities of different communities” with more emphasis on the message of a plan. joint action to get out of the current economic crisis. crisis.

The recording of the media event is available at https://www.advocata.org

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